NAMM: M-Audio MicroTrack Portable Recorder: Official, US$499.95

The M-Audio MicroTrack portable recorder (prototypes were called FlashTracker) is now official. See the awkward press release (via Harmony Central; as usual M-Audio’s Website is lagging). Who’s writing this stuff? “Leaps in miniaturization technology”? (Sorry, a leap in tech would involve a $99 price.) “One of the secrets to the . . . compact size” […]

Yamaha Tenori-On: 16×16 LED Light + Sound Toy

What if Lite Brite and a tablet PC had a crazy love child? It might look something like the Yamaha Tenori-On. The basic idea is, you press buttons on a 16×16 LED grid and trigger sounds and visuals; there are collaborative features for playing with your friends Tenori-Ons, and the back of the screen functions […]

NAMM: motion dive .tokyo VJ Software + Hardware

Hard-core VJs have long known about Motion Dive. This VJ app is so rock-solid, intuitive, and flexible that people were willing to import it from Japan and use it with all-Japanese menus. Weirdly, it was easier to use that product in Japanese than many others in English. Now, Roland division Edirol is handling US distribution, […]

Which Portable Recorder to Buy?

Quick: which brand-new portable recorder will be your long-awaited iPod of recording? The newly-announced M-Audio MicroTrack, or the already-proven Edirol R-1? One thing’s for sure: CompactFlash is where it’s at. I just got an email from offering a full 2 GB of CompactFlash storage for US$70 after rebate. You’re likely to run out of […]

Marantz PMD660 Portable Digital Recorder

While we’re mulling CompactFlash-based portable digital recorders, I’d be remiss to ignore the Marantz PMD660. Just as the new M-Audio MicroTrack is inspired by Apple’s iPod (check out the LCD display if you don’t believe me), the PMD660 is deeply rooted in past Marantz recorders. Those of you who have fond memories of Marantz cassette […]


Well, just a pleasant quiet Saturday afternoon he– WHAT’S THAT??!!! I CAN’T QUITE HEAR YOU!! THE R O L A N D E X C I T E M E NT SEEMS A LITTLE OUT OF CONTROL!!! FEEL THE POWER OF THE NEW ROLAND ORGAN!! YEAH, BABY, YEAH!!! Ready to shatter the peace of your […]

Jack Daniel’s Amp + More of the WORST OF NAMM

Thank God for press releases. Without them, how would we know about some of the least-interesting product announcements being made at shows like the huge NAMM music conference? Here are just a few of the most-useless product announcements made in the last few days. And why do I have a sinking suspicion I’ll have part […]

On the Radio: Hello, KNTS San Jose

I’m about to go on the radio to talk to the Inside Mac Radio show. If you’re in the San Jose area, tune in 1220 AM between 2:30 and 3:00 PM today (Saturday). If not, downloadable MP3 and Podcast will be available shortly. But then, if you read this blog, you probably already know what […]

Summer NAMM: New Gear, New Software Through the Weekend [updated]

Don’t touch that dial — NAMM Summer Session has begun, meaning lots of new hardware and software to drool over. (Site is down at press time, weirdly.) The National Association of Music Manufacturers meets twice a year; summer is in Indianapolis this year and is a big deal as it hits just before the major […]

NAMM: Roland SP-404 Portable Sampler + Patterns + FX

CDM’s 5 words: Super simple sampler to go. You’ve heard the online rumors; now this portable sampler is official. A sequel to Roland’s hit SP-303 sampler, the new model has more voices, more pads, more memory, and now runs on batteries. Basic specs: Simple recording: Built-in mic. CD-quality sound, or switch to “Low-Fi mode”, whatever […]